One of the best seasons ever recorded by a Wakefield High wrestler concluded last Saturday night at the Virginia State AAA championships, held at Robinson Secondary.
Henry Majano, a Wakefield junior and standout wrestler, advanced all the way to the state finals of his 130-pound weight class before losing his championship match, 11-1, to Brandon Jeske of Cox High School (Virginia Beach).
With the finals round setback, Majano, who in recent weeks captured titles at both the National District and Northern Region championships, finished his marvelous season with an overall record of 43-1.
"It was a great experience," said Majano, of the two-day (Friday-Saturday) state tournament event, in which he won his first three matches to reach the finals. "I had the mindset of coming here and trying to win it all."
A year ago at states, Majano had won one match and lost two, failing to earn a top eight medal. But his showing at last weekend's state tournament displayed a better, more experienced wrestler who came close to winning the state crown. In the end, Majano had to settle for the second place standing on the awards podium following his final match on Saturday night.
"I was healthy," he said, of his championship round loss to Jeske. "It just didn't go the way I wanted it to."
In his first match at states on Friday afternoon, Majano was a 7-1 decision winner over Jamarr Hairston of Meadowbrook High of Richmond. That put him into the quarterfinals that evening where Majano toughed out a 3-2 win over Marcelle McCabe of Bayside (Virginia Beach).
The following day, in early afternoon, Majano took on Jordan O'Donnell of James River (Midlothian). In a high-scoring semifinals round affair, the Wakefield star came out on top with a 12-9 victory to put him into that evening's finals round.
In meeting Jeske, the No. 1-seed from the Eastern Region, Majano was going up against a sophomore opponent who had put together a 46-2 season with a Beach District championship as well as the Eastern Region crown. The young Jeske, through two seasons of high school competition, had already built up a 92-5 career mark.
Jeske controlled the finals match. Majano earned an escape point late in the match to get onto the scoreboard.
The title match setback hardly makes a blemish on what Majano accomplished this season — a season in which he did not know defeat until Saturday night.
"It was a good season," he said. "I give credit to my coaches and the Wakefield staff. To go 43-1, it took a lot of hard work."
ROBINSON SECONDARY captured the team championship on Saturday, marking the first time since 1985 — when Robinson also won it — that a team from the Northern Region has won a state title. The Rams also won the state crown back in 1981. Like this year, Robinson Secondary was the host site for the '81 state tournament.
Robinson's individual state champions last weekend were Brooks Martino (135-division) and Jake Smith (119). Rams who reached the finals before losing were Dallas Smith (112), Jack Bass (125), and Jake Pinkston (heavyweight).
Robinson won the team title with 155.5 points, besting runner-up Cox High (125) of Virginia Beach and third place Colonial Forge (98.5) of Stafford. Forest Park (76) of Woodbridge took fourth place and Westfield High (69) from the Northern Region was fifth. Annandale High, also from the Northern Region, finished 11th place at the 20-team meet.
Other individual state champions to come out of the Northern Region were Beau Donahue (140-division) of Westfield and Dane Harlowe (125) of Annandale. Wakefield's Majano (130) finished second.
Other top eight place finishers from the Northern Region were: Tyler DeLeon (eighth at heavyweight) of Westfield; Joseph Vanderplas (third place at 215) of Fairfax; Ali Musa (fourth at 215) of Annandale; Scott Blackstone (eighth at 189) of South County; Dusty Floyd (fifth at 171) of Mount Vernon; Tim Fitzpatrick (eighth at 171) of Robinson; Wes Jones (third at 160) of Robinson; Christian Merino (seventh at 160) of South County; Kombeh Koroma (fifth place at 152) of Lee; Zaq Depasquale (eighth at 145) of Robinson; Rory Renzi (fifth at 135) of Lake Braddock; Omar Maknassi (seventh at 135) of T.C.Williams; Santiago Valdez (third at 130) of Robinson; Nathan Cobu (sixth at 130) of Hayfield; Steven Aiello (eighth at 130) of Westfield; Derek Arnold (third at 125) of Westfield; Robert Dooley (fifth at 119) of Madison; Brett Campbell (third at 112) of Westfield; Jon Le (seventh at 112) of Annandale; and Hunter Manley (eighth at 103) of South County.